Weather prediction task: Learning achievement with and without stressAugust 09, 2012
Stressed volunteers use different strategies and brain regions
Stressed and non-stressed persons use different brain regions and different strategies when learning. This has been reported by the cognitive psychologists PD Dr. Lars Schwabe and Professor Oliver Wolf from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in the Journal of Neuroscience. Non-stressed individuals applied a deliberate learning strategy, while stressed subjects relied more on their gut feeling. "These results demonstrate for the first time that stress has an influence on which of the different memory systems the brain turns on," said Lars Schwabe.
The experiment: Stress due to ice-water
The data from 59 subjects were included in the study. Half of the participants had to immerse one hand into ice-cold water for three minutes under video surveillance. This stressed the subjects, as hormone assays showed. The other participants had to immerse one of their hands just in warm water. Then both the stressed and non-stressed individuals completed the so-called weather prediction task. The subjects looked at playing cards with different symbols and learned to predict which combinations of cards announced rain and which sunshine. Each combination of cards was associated with a certain probability of good or bad weather. People apply differently complex strategies in order to master the task. During the weather prediction task, the researchers recorded the brain activity with MRI.
Two routes to success
Both stressed and non-stressed subjects learned to predict the weather according to the symbols. Non-stressed participants focused on individual symbols and not on combinations of symbols. They consciously pursued a simple strategy. The MRI data showed that they activated a brain region in the medial temporal lobe - the hippocampus, which is important for long-term memory. Stressed subjects, on the other hand, applied a more complex strategy. They made their decisions based on the combination of symbols. They did this, however, subconsciously, i.e. they were not able to formulate their strategy in words. The result of the brain scans was also accordingly: In the case of the stressed volunteers the so-called striatum in the mid-brain was activated - a brain region that is responsible for more unconscious learning. "Stress interferes with conscious, purposeful learning, which is dependent upon the hippocampus," concluded Lars Schwabe. "So that makes the brain use other resources. In the case of stress, the striatum controls behaviour - which saves the learning achievement."
Related Weather Prediction Current Events and Weather Prediction News Articles
NASA measures 10 days of US extreme precipitation from space
For more than a week the weather over the continental United States has been punctuated by extreme events. NASA analyzed satellite data that measured the heavy precipitation over ten days from late January to early February.
Largest ensemble simulation of global weather using real-world data
When performing numerical weather predictions, it is important that the simulation itself be accurate, but it is also key for real-world data, based on observations, to be accurately entered into the model.
UNH scientists provide new tools for predicting arrival, impact of solar storms
When the sun hurls a billion tons of high-energy particles and magnetic fields into space at speeds of more than a million miles per hour and the "space weather" conditions are right, the resulting geomagnetic storm at Earth can wreak havoc on communication and navigation systems, electrical power grids, and pose radiation hazards to astronauts and airline passengers and crew.
NASA's SDO sees mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 4:16 a.m. EDT on June 25, 2015. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
Sun unleashes mid-level flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 2:23 EDT on June 22, 2015.
Comparative analyses of current three-dimensional numerical solar wind models
Space Weather research programs began around the world in the 1990's. Presently, three larger research groups are modeling key portions of the solar-terrestrial environment (i.e. solar wind).
Sun emits significant solar flare
The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 12:22 p.m. EDT on March 11, 2015. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
NASA's SDO captures images of a mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 5:22 pm EST on March 7, 2015. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
NASA snaps picture of Eastern US in a record-breaking 'freezer'
NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the snow-covered eastern U.S. that looks like the states have been sitting in a freezer. In addition to the snow cover, Arctic and Siberian air masses have settled in over the Eastern U.S. triggering many record low temperatures in many states.
UI researchers link smoke from fires to tornado intensity
Can smoke from fires intensify tornadoes? "Yes," say University of Iowa researchers, who examined the effects of smoke--resulting from spring agricultural land-clearing fires in Central America--transported across the Gulf of Mexico and encountering tornado conditions already in process in the United States.
More Weather Prediction Current Events and Weather Prediction News Articles